Our attention was caught by Merkle this morning (courtesy of a great PYMTS piece), and the results of their 2014 Customer Sentiment Survey, conducted during the recent holiday season. Merkle, a data-focused CRM agency, had some great stats on the prominence of mobile, like:

  • 67% of shoppers under the age of 50 are interested in a wholly mobile path to purchase
  • 46% of shoppers in the same group would like personalized offers sent to their smartphones while shopping in-store.

But the real goldmine came from their data about loyalty programs, something about which Merkle knows quite a bit. When asked about loyalty programs, here’s what respondents told them:

  • Less than a 1/5 said traditional price-based loyalty programs acted as a differentiator between where they shopped
  • Only 1/4 of them were interested in using loyalty apps from retailers to receive offers

So, what’s the deal? Simply, retailers aren’t personalizing the in-store experience enough. Offering a loyalty app packed with offers isn’t attractive enough to shoppers to lead them down the path of purchase, and it isn’t differentiating you from your competitors. Here’s where beacons come in. (And why we’re sponsoring Media Post’s IoT:Beacons event today, talking about the possibilities for the technology.) Beacons offer a way to personalize the in-store experience for your customers in real-time. You can reach out to them on an individual level, taking into account not only their tastes, past behavior and purchase history, but also their in-store foot traffic patterns. Incorporating beacons into your loyalty program will create an actual mobile engagement channel with your customers, where you can apply a combination of complex rules and pre-configured recipes to reach customers in the right shopping moment. And, if you give your customers a real-time loyalty program on mobile, according to Merkle, you could see 10x the results of a regular loyalty program. Sign us up.